Fact Check: House Did NOT Vote to Criminalize Disassembling, Cleaning And Reassembling Your Gun

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: House Did NOT Vote to Criminalize Disassembling, Cleaning And Reassembling Your Gun No Effect

Did the House of Representatives vote to criminalize disassembling, cleaning and reassembling your gun? No, that's not true: A House gun control bill, passed June 8, 2022, would regulate ghost guns, untraceable firearms that can be assembled at home. The legislation, which is not expected to pass the Senate, has no effect on an individual's ability to disassemble, clean and reassemble their own gun.

The claim appeared in a tweet (archived here) by Gun Owners of America (GOA) on June 8, 2022. The tweet reads:

U.S. House of Reps. votes 226-194 to criminalize disassembling, cleaning, and re-assembling your gun without a firearm manufacturer's license, including 8 Republicans!

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Jun 9 15:43:04 2022 UTC)

For context, here is a link to the bill the House passed. There was a separate vote on whether to keep "Title III" in the bill, which deals with untraceable firearms. Title III opens:

Definitions.--Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended--

(1) in paragraph (10), by adding at the end the following: 'The term "manufacturing firearms" shall include assembling a functional firearm or molding, machining, or 3D printing a frame or receiver, and shall not include making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms ...

This is apparently the part of the bill that GOA interpreted to say that the House voted to criminalize disassembling, cleaning and reassembling your gun. It is the only place where the word "assembling" appears in the bill. But GOA's interpretation is wrong.

Lead Stories reached out to Daniel Webster, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. In an email to Lead Stories, dated June 9, 2022, he offered the following explanation for what the bill does and does not do:

The House bill would expand the definition of a firearm -- that would be regulated like other firearms -- to include Do-It-Yourself gun kits that allow individuals to easily make a firearm.

He added:

If you are not in the business of selling firearms or firearm kits, this would not affect your ability to disassemble, reassemble, and clean your firearm.

As a final note, it's worth mentioning that the House bill faces an all-but-certain death in the Senate. It is not expected to become law.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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